With just two more sleeps until Croatia I’ve been asking you guys what travel related blog posts you want to see. How, and what to pack took the lead, so the following article includes every travel tip and trick I’ve collated after taking a whopping 40 flights this year. I used to despise packing; it stressed me out trying to cram all of my favourite items into a small space. The hoarder in me wanted to take my whole wardrobe ‘just in case’, but I’ve since managed to cull my bad habits over the past year filled with so many weekend trips and short haul flights where I was only allowed hand luggage. I generally go on sun holidays so this article applies to holidays of a hot nature, however most of the guidelines apply to packing in general regardless of your destination. The perfect packing consists of preparation and planning, clever organisational skills, and lots of tips and tricks which I’ve included that I hope you’ll find helpful. My main advice is not to leave everything until the last minute; you will risk forgetting items and wasting money away, or over pack as a result of shoving things into your case you think you may need.
To begin with you need the right luggage. This factor is totally dependent on your budget, but if you have the money, invest in good quality luggage. It will last a lifetime and protect your valuables while you travel. There are lots of brilliant middle of the range luggage brands out there too, mainly found in department stores or online. If you’re strapped for cash Penneys have some really gorgeous varying size cases at the moment, from basic black to pretty prints and fun tropical logos.
If you want something middle of the range price wise, super girly and more of a statement piece I’m a huge fan of Lulu Guiness. I have the silver lips hand luggage size and I adore it. The sturdy metallic outer case is super durable, the handle and wheel function to make movement easy, rolling smoothly by your side while you walk and the inner compartments and travel bags make organised packing a dream. If you’re lucky enough to be able to afford high end, my personal choice would include the likes of Gucci and Louis Vuitton for their canvas and hardcase range. This luggage is the ultimate luxury having said that I would never spend money on designer luggage in the large size; the thought of someone flinging it onto a plane in the rain kills me. Designer hand luggage will last you a lifetime because you’re in charge of looking after it. Regardless of the range you should have one large suitcase for checking in, one carry on suitcase and a log bag to get you through any travel trip.
Deciding what to pack is all down to planning. To begin with, grab a pen and paper and write out the days and nights you will be on holiday for and map out rough examples of what you intend on doing. For example, Monday beach and bar, Tuesday shopping and dinner, Friday excursion and party. Then work out how many outfits you need for each occasion, minimize where possible bearing in mind you can wear your airport outfit again on the way home if needs be and some beach dresses can be dolled up for night time. Another great tip is to wear what you can’t pack on the flight; heavy and hard to pack items like hats, boots, jumpers, coats, scarves, and sunglasses. For a week long sun holiday for example I generally make a list containing general packing categories, how many outfits I need for each and then listing exactly what I intend on bringing. Begin with the travel and electronic necessities, beauty, make up and then work your way down to fashion. This order means you won’t forget the things you absolutely need and you will be in packing mode by the time you get to the trickier selections like clothes.
I’m a self confessed over packer; I’m always the one trembling at the check in panicking if I’m over weight or not on the way home. One thing I’ve learned from this is if you plan on shopping at your destination then under pack on the way over. There’s nothing worse than being that girl frantically chucking things from one bag to the other in a bid to avoid charges. After I’ve followed the above guidelines and prepared my breakdown of days and what’s needed for each I begin choosing items for each section which you can see in the sample list above. As a rule of thumb I lay out two extra options for each section and then narrow it down to my favourites when it comes to physically putting everything into the case. For my airport outfit I hang it out ready to wear and tick it off the list, and if you’re really tight for space then wear it on the way home. I then start to lay out my day and night time options. Once the focal fashion items have been chosen I start to lay out matching accessories that go with each outfit. I always leave my shoes and bags until last and stick by the rule of only bringing the sandals, heels or clutch if they match with at least THREE of my outfits. This tends to minimize on space and allows you visually see what goes with what and what’s really needed. In terms of packing technique I always place shoes at the bottom of the case and then begin to roll my clothes and add them in. This not only conserves space but also keeps things crease free while you travel. I then place my accessories in some tissue paper and place them in my clutches to keep them protected and add them to the upper zipped pocket area. When I’m finished I like to add a scented sachet or air freshener into my case to keep things smelling sweet. After my main case is packed I place my electronics and in flight essentials into my carry on luggage and place my immediate necessities into my handbag.
✈ Pack important/breakable/electronic items in hand luggage. If your luggage gets lost, god forbid, your devices, money, passport, tickets and make up is on your person to get you through a few days while you live without your fashion items.
✈ Don’t forget to charge all of your electronics to avoid battery loss during the initial stages of traveling and bring a couple of battery packs for emergencies.
✈ Don’t forget to bring at least two appropriate adapters depending on where you’re flying to.
✈ Don’t forget to bring a mini medical kit; bites, headaches and tummy bugs can put a real downer on a holiday so having your own supplies at the ready can same time and hassle in a foreign country.
✈ Carry eye drops, a facial spritz, in flight socks, and foldable fluffy slippers to make your journey as comfortable as possible.
✈ Leave enough space in your handbag to fit food, water and magazines you WILL end up buying in the airport.
✈ Get waxed. This saves you bringing a razor and shaving foam and primes your skin for a tan unlike the removal element of shaving.
✈ Get gel nails, similarly saving on polish and remover.
✈ Where possible bring miniature sizes to save on space and reduce weight. Beauty products really weigh a lot and you’ll be tempted to leave full size products behind upon your departure which is a waste.
✈ Bring lipsticks that double up as blush and multi use palettes like contour and highlight kits.
✈ If you’re heading away with girls discuss your packing so don’t double up. For example when I go away with one of the girls I bring a curler and she brings a GHD and I bring a bright shadow palette while she brings a neutral.
✈ Use clear sandwich bags to separate your make up, brushes, beauty and suncare items making them easy to find and separated if any dreaded spillage occurs.
✈ Don’t skimp on a hard sunglasses case; it’s not worth it when you sit on your favourite Chanel pair.
✈ Bras are quite bulky so try and minimize where possible. I’m lucky enough to get away with not wearing a bra with most dresses so on holidays I only ever bring a nude strapless, white and black t-shirt bra with me, one of which I wear under my airport outfit.
✈ Always bring a few spare pairs of undies; they don’t take up any room and are great for numerous outfit changes throughout the day and to stay fresh when it’s hot.
✈ Bring two large plastic bags; one for your wet swimwear and one for your dirty lingerie.